Week 3 Biographies

Webinar Panelists

Deb Tovey

I work at Aston University as the disability advisor for the School of Business and Social Sciences and the Law School. In particular, I advise the Estates team on new builds and renovations, and the accommodation provider, as I have specialist knowledge and experience of working with disabled students with complex physical and sensory needs. This academic year I have teamed up with Helen Davies/ Dyslexia Specialist to develop the support we offer to apprentices with additional learning needs (and prepare for an Ofsted inspection). I am a qualified teacher of over 30 years and hold a Masters degree in Education and Professional Development. I taught in mainstream and then specialised in SEN (age 14-19). My position prior to starting at Aston was at a further education college where I worked as an inclusive support manager.

Helen Davies   

I am the dyslexia specialist teacher assessor within the Student Enabling Team at Aston University. I have responsibility for a dyslexia/ SpLDs screening and assessment service and contribute to a programme of academic skills workshops/ tutorials within the Learning Development Centre. I provide training to academic Schools and professional support services on various aspects of inclusive teaching and learning. Most recently, a training session with Deb Tovey/ Disability Advisor for skills coaches on degree apprenticeship programmes at the University, with the aim to join up the support we offer apprentices with additional learning needs. I draw upon my experience as a qualified English and SEN teacher of 29 years, who has worked in schools, colleges, a local authority educational support service and educational psychology service and several universities. 

Student Representative: Simon Hawthorne

Hello, I’m Simon (he/they) working on a higher level Project Management course. I work in the public transport industry as a Principal Sponsor for Transport for London, where I am responsible for interfaces with new high speed rail projects. I’ve been a member of the National Society of Apprentices in the UK since 2017 and represented the organisation at Parliamentary evidence sessions, sat on inquiries and helped write reports on social mobility, as well at attending VET and European Skills Weeks. During lockdowns in Covid I volunteered with St John Ambulance in between doing my day job and my training courses online. I am a neurodiversity champion and talk about autism, ADHD and dyslexia in the workplace, as well as being a trustee for an outdoors charity.Hello, I’m Simon (he/they) working on a higher level Project Management course. I work in the public transport industry as a Principal Sponsor for Transport for London, where I am responsible for interfaces with new high speed rail projects. I’ve been a member of the National Society of Apprentices in the UK since 2017 and represented the organisation at Parliamentary evidence sessions, sat on inquiries and helped write reports on social mobility, as well at attending VET and European Skills Weeks. During lockdowns in Covid I volunteered with St John Ambulance in between doing my day job and my training courses online. I am a neurodiversity champion and talk about autism, ADHD and dyslexia in the workplace, as well as being a trustee for an outdoors charity.

Video Presenters

Trevor Boland

Trevor is the Digital and eLearning Officer in AHEAD, Ireland and has worked for almost 20 years in Education. He joined the AHEAD family a year ago and, in that time, he has been part of the National UDL Badge rollout in 2020. He has brought knowledge from his previous role of Assistive Technology Officer that has informed the AT recourse in AHEAD called ‘AT Hive‘ that advocates more AT awareness in Education and Employment. In AHEAD he delivers Assistive Tech workshops, supports the positive message of UDL and how it addresses issues of inclusion as well as promotes accessibility awareness. UDL, Assistive Tech and Accessibility all overlap and are key to removing barriers and enabling all to participate to their fullest extent.

@BolandTrevor
Trevor.Boland@ahead.ie